Milhões de Festa 2014 - Preview
Preparing to spend a few days amidst triangles, swimsuits, mojitos, red wine or caldo verde, the Bolachas team runs though a selection of anticipated highlights from this week’s Milhões de Festa in Barcelos.
We’re heading to the festival today (thursday, the 24th of july), looking for the eclectic line-up that will twitch the ears of any music connoisseur seeking out a suitable alternative to the usual mainstream festivals. Taking place until Sunday, the event will feature a packed line-up that cuts right across boundaries of genre with a diverse selection in four stages (Taina, Milhões, Vodafone FM and the pool curated by Red Bull City Gang).
Ghetthoven - 01h00 - Palco Taina
This project from Igor Ribeiro makes a sweet fusion between soul and electronic music, taking the carnal and lewd side of the music with tons of sexiness that probably will lead to a open romance in Taina’s stage.
Putan Club - 02h00 - Palco Taina
The french François Camzubat creates something that is truly iconoclast and revolutionary way to reject the normal rules of musical industry. In concert, normally he invites the italian Gianna Greco to compose a powerful duo and they perform in a kind of show that has punk or noise roots but touches other genres like industrial rock, dub step or techno. A performance that will remind the Monotonix or Lightning Bolt universe.
Dear Telephone - 15h45 - Piscina Red Bull City Gang
This quartet from Braga will try to seduce us with songs constructed and inspired in telephone conversations with puzzling speech in a intimate scale from their dense pop.
Ginger & the Ghost - 20h50 - Palco Vodafone FM
An australian folk-pop duo that make and unusual approach to their music with ethereal vocals and some great melodies where they use almost everything from body percussion to bicycle wheels to create sound and make samples.
Chelsea Wolfe - 21h40 - Palco Milhões
Probably the most talented artist that will perform in Barcelos, this girl is a singer-songwriter that carved a unique place in the musical landscape with a kind of “drone-metal-art-folk” style. Haunting sound, superb lyrics, timeless singing and a mysterious aesthetic. The result normally is more that words can describe. You just have to embrace the dark of her seductive and infectious music.
Boogarins - 00h00 - Palco Milhões
It’s not a surprise that a band like Boogarins should come from Brasil. Their psychedelic pop is something that owes much their cultural forefathers Os Mutantes. Their songs also have the innocence of a youthful exuberance which adds a lot to their music. Every detuned guitar chord and the drum fuzz are placed on the right spot and actually they sound a lot more stronger and sophisticated than the bands their age. A must-see performance.
Sensible Soccers - 02h50 - Palco Vodafone FM
The sustained growth of Fornelo’s band was proven with the release of the album 8. Rural psychadelism rapidly became more electronic and energetic. The concert promises the usual transcendence, creating dreamy environments and mixing that up with catchy songs that make us dance.
Killimanjaro - 20h50 - Palco Vodafone FM
The talented power-trio will certainly make the argument why the land of the rooster is considered the capital of rock. They will play their last album called Hook and show their stoner rock full of raw and exciting riffs accompanied by a powerful rhythm section groove.
Equations - 22h30 - Palco Vodafone FM
They will show us the songs that will become part of their second album, more cohesive and grown up. If someday it was about math rock, from now on, the thing became near progressive rock and the expectation is that they are getting better and we are loving to see that.
High on Fire - 1h10 - Palco Milhões
The stoner/sludge power-trio comes to Barcelos to show the gnarled atmosphere of a high octane fuzz and a rush-of-blood-to-the-head intensity. Some megalithic riffs, roaring gutturals and the tribal groove that is inspired by metal classics, turn this band an untouchable force in a deep madness that is highly recommended.
Teeth of The Sea - 2h40 - Palco Vodafone FM
Some inspired critic once called this band a post-everything-and-anything-quartet. A tremendous melting pot that includes distorted synthesisers, trumpets layered in loop and keyboard riffs in arpeggio. Th result is a flurry of rhythms, powerful and tribal, in such a hypnotic experience that collapses in something post-apocalyptic. Chaos and destruction remains.
Awesome Tapes From Africa - 3h30 - Palco Vdafone FM
Unless you live on the moon, you probably know that Awesome Tapes From Africa is one of the best projects/blogs/labels on the internet. They participated in the best Boiler Room ever created and constantly bring the best independent music from Africa. The author Shimkovitz is a magnificent ethnomusicologist that is traveling around Africa for the last five years discovering wonderful music. What to expect? Chilled tunes, afro beat, nigerian funk, ethiopian jazz and more. Pure pleasure.
Filho da Mãe and Norberto Lobo - 20H00- Palco Milhões
The guitar takes the leading role. The reaction is a thrilling honesty created by the six strings. These two guitarists will take us to a journey where the the force of the instrument is reinvented in such peculiar ways.
Sequin - 20h50 - Palco Vodafone FM
The electro-pop project of Ana Miró is easy affordable and gets you to tons of freshness. A work cobbled by beautiful melodies who easily became hits this year. The sexy voice and the exotic environments will lead us to a mystic trip.
Earthless - 23h20 - Palco Milhões
The power trio brings to Barcelos more psychedelic rock, stoner metal and electric blue. They are moving in their natural habitat as the festival always brings lots of bands of these styles.You probably will get some tumultuous and epic show, ravaged by pure shredding. Riffing to the forcefulness of their improvisation, kicking and screaming.
Melt Yourself Down - 01h50 - Palco Milhões
One of the best albums of 2013 by some people from Bolachas, this jazz-rock supergroup demands dancing and speaks to the primal senses that rocks together with an amazing interplay between saxophones and bass with a veritable frenzy. You must get prepared to go nuts in a joyous way with this frenetic noise, full of rhythm and soul recalling funky stuff from Africa, Nubia, Middle East of Latin America. Just incredible.
Bandas com Wulf no nome
Kylesa + Lazer/Wulf. Hard Club, Porto, June 22nd 2014
I have to start this review by stating that I only went to see Kylesa for old times’ sake, having heard absolutely nothing they’ve released after 2006’s excellent Time Will Fuse Its Worth, back then when I used to think The Mars Volta was the best band on Earth and spent too much time - that I will never ever ever ever get back - listening to Tool records.
The setlist was centered around their latest three records - their last concert in Portugal was two years ago, before they released their latest album, 2013’s Ultraviolet - and, unfortunately, ”Hollow Severer” was the only throwback to those good ol’ times and, by far, the highlight of the concert for me. Phillip Cope’s shouts sound cruder than ever and the band proved to be much more effective when the male vocals prevailed - when treading softer ground with Laura Pleasant’s pleasant but mellower voice, Kylesa sounded more like a neutered cat than the sabertooth tiger we all know they can be.
Black Phoenix Is My Life
There was a time when I was the only guy in the village who listened to music religiously - others simply basked in whatever trance tune was popular -, a time made of riffing and bursts of noise, a time where rock n’ roll could and would elevate me to the highest spheres. When they’re young people will believe anything, right?
At the time, when surfing the web, anonymous boards or discussion forums, almost no one seemed to share my affinity for Crippled Black Phoenix’s A Love Of Shared Disasters, which, if I recall correctly, I discovered through a 4chan music thread. Thanks, 4chan! Today, they seem to have a pretty large fanbase, worldwide and in Portugal - and they’ll even be playing Reverence Festival, 30km away from my house, in september.
Even to someone who tries to stay the hell away from post-rock and post-metal nowadays due to the massive amount of boring bullshit the genre has been plagued with, I couldn’t help but listen to their newest record, White Light Generator. ‘Twas a good decision, because this is a great album: long instrumental passages intertwined with vocals but without ever sounding cliché, the whole quiet/loud dichotomies, and great guitar work which comes the closest to metal they’re ever done - they’re sounding like Agalloch in some songs, which is awesome, because Agalloch is an amazing band as well.
After the sweet and tender moment of “Sweeter Than You”, a poppy little tune done on guitar, we’re blessed with the rock power of “No! (Pt 1)”, what seems to be like a nifty protest song and arguably one of the best moments in here - because it captivates you immediately, because after listening to this you want to hear the rest of the record instead of pausing or stopping and throwing it away like fucking Warpaint, before Part 2 tones it down a notch and concerns itself more with that kind of post-rock ambience I was talking about before - but not sounding boring at all, just some sort of quiet before the storm.
We’re then served the delicious stoner-like riffs of “Let’s Have An Apocalypse Now!”, a song clearly tailored for headbanging and chanting along (oh, if only someone used this during the World Cup…), the bombastic title-track, the amazing “Northern Comfort” and it all ends with the softier moments of “We Remember You” and “A Brighter Tomorrow”. Post-rock is dead? Not in a million years.
Space is only noise
Not noise per se, but an amazing combination of song and dance and trance and cosmic feeling. The Arkestra came to Portugal for a couple of gigs, the second of which #TeamBolachas had the chance to experience in a nice club near the Lisbon harbor, watching the river come and go and paying 2,5€ for a small bottle of water.
But money is of no importance when discussing the Arkestra, the amazing band of musicians who are currently celebrating their mentor, Sun Ra, the alien who fell to earth in the fifties and left behind some of the best music this planet - and the whole universe, mind you - has ever heard. Over more than an hour and a half they presented us with jazz in its purest form: free, wild, joyful, mouth-opening. People headbanging, dancing, singing along sometimes, waving hips and arms and tongues. Music for music lovers. Close your eyes and travel the spaceways…
Fronting the band was the incredible Marshall Allen, playing the alto saxophone and giving orders around so no sound would be lost; this is not improvisation music, but music from the mind and soul, perfect and untainted; this is “Rocket Number Nine” taking us all to Venus and leaving us wondering if Sun Ra, or the atoms which were one his, are still floating around and listening, controlling, all of this.
The Arkestra is still one of the most amazing live experiences one can see. Just ask the elderly couple giving it their all at the front. Ask the dudes wearing Sun Ra t-shirts and looking for some hash (you don’t need drugs to be fun, though). Ask the Filho Único fellows, who organized the gig and when it all ended were standing with huge smiles on their faces. Ask Kndel Scott, also on alto saxophone, who afterwards was seen selling homemade CDs so he could pay his trip back to England (maybe a different England thousands of light-years away). Ask everyone who came in touch with them when at the end, during “We Travel The Spaceways”, they ran through the crowd, still playing at an amazing intensity. Ask God himself. Maybe he can answer. But remember than God is music.
Text by PAC
Pics by AR